A MAN who was caught inside a house that was being renovated claimed he had only broken in to recover his own property.

Blackburn magistrates heard Michael Anthony Williams had asked the previous tenant of the property for the return of a cabinet he had borrowed.

When he realised the man had left he decided to recover the cabinet himself.

Williams, 34, of Astbury Chase, Darwen, pleaded guilty to criminal damage to window frames belonging to Fakhruddin Lodal.

He was given a conditional discharge for six months and ordered to pay £500 compensation.

Briony Cook, prosecuting, said that just before midnight Mr Lodal was informed by neighbours that someone had broken into the property. Police found Williams inside the property and there was damage to two window frames.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said: “He now realises that if he had just gone and asked the landlord he probably would have given him the cabinet.”